Many people see politics in it's Machiavellian, manipulative sense, backstabbing and spreading false rumors, but politics need not be dirty.
Politics in reality is the use of power and influence within an organization to achieve changes that benefit the organization or the employees within it. Politics need not be about "backstabbing" or spreading malicious rumors.
If you are going to work effectively in an organization, then you cannot avoid politics, you have to be political. It is through politics that you get things done.
I talk more about politics is life in my blook on Conversational Leadership.